Florida Gov. DeSantis Unveils $99.7 Billion Budget Proposal for 2022

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled his $99.7 billion "Freedom First Budget" proposal for the 2022-2023 fiscal year on Thursday that he said includes record funding for education, environmental resources and law enforcement.

DeSantis unveiled the budget at a news conference in Tallahassee Thursday morning.

The governor has announced several components of his budget proposals in recent news conferences but on Thursday announced he was including a fuel tax holiday that he said could save Floridians over $1 billion.

DeSantis' budget proposal also includes the elimination of fees charged for the issuance of a Florida Identification Card, which could save residents $14.7 million.

Among the education proposals are another round of $1,000 bonus checks for teachers and principals and a $50 million budget increase over last year, a total of $600 million, for teacher pay.

Another $421 million would be allocated for school safety and mental health initiatives.

As for the environment, the proposal includes more than $660 million for Everglades restoration including $3 million to remove invasive Burmese pythons from the Everglades, as well as $195 million for water quality improvements.

For law enforcement, DeSantis wants more than $226 million for salary increases and more than $100 million for the National Guard.

The budget also includes $5.4 million to re-establish the Florida State Guard, which was last active during and after World War II, which would be a civilian volunteer force that will assist the National Guard in state-specific emergencies, DeSantis said.

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